Batman trumps The Biebs every time.
Weeks after The CW’s Arrow treated viewers to a Bruce Wayne shout-out, series lead Stephen Amell has detailed how he helped make it happen — and how shocked he was to see it make it to air.
“The original version of that script, which came out right before Comic-Con, [had] Oliver referencing a famous name,” Amell shared with reporters on set Tuesday. “I can’t remember what the placeholder was — I think it might have been Justin Bieber — but I looked at it and thought to myself, ‘This is a cool opportunity.'”
Amell ran his idea by Arrowverse overseer Greg Berlanti, who suggested the actor reach out directly to DC Entertainment Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns (noting, “You’ll probably have better luck than I would”). Amell aimed to do just that at DC Comics’ Comic-Con soiree, but instead found himself in a four-way conversation with Warner Bros. TV president Peter Roth, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment president Diane Nelson and Warner Bros. Entertainment CEO Kevin Tsujihara.
“I was like, ‘Guys, I have an idea! It will cost you nothing. I think it’d be really fun. It opens the door to a lot of possibilities,'” Amell recalls saying, “because I’ve always thought that our iteration of Oliver Queen and the way that we built this character, obviously, has so many similarities to Bruce Wayne and Batman, and so much of the inspiration for the early parts of our show was taken from the [Christopher] Nolan [Batman movies].”
Amell also appreciated the semi-taunting nature of Mayor Queen’s suggestion that billionaire Bruce Wayne has been scampering around Star City as a costumed vigilante.
“I’ve always thought that Bruce Wayne would be an interesting ally on the show and an even more interesting villain — to Oliver, which… just means that they don’t like each other,” the Arrow star says. “So anyway, I have this holy trinity [of executives] in front of me, and I pitched this idea. I’ve got all my follow-up points, and Kevin Tsujihara just goes, ‘Yeah, sure.’ I said, ‘Really?’ He said, ‘Yeah, that sounds fun. Do that.’ So we did it.”
Though even after filming said shout-out, Amell had his Bat-doubts: “I didn’t actually believe that it would make it until I actually saw it in the locked cut!” (With reporting by Vlada Gelman)